In MT class as of late we have been practicing "in the pocket".
The curriculum, while helping us develop our skills, also works on different ranges. We have four, and I will list them from furthest away to closest as you approach the opponent.
Pot shotting, combo, pocket, clench.
Of all that we practice, clenching is probably the most exhausting, but the pocket range is the hardest on the body. You see, the pocket is where you can start bringing the heavy firepower, such as knees and elbows. Even when you train these lightly with a partner they leave bruises and marks of all sorts. It is especially tough when you are training with someone who is new or overzealous.
It is always best to train with someone who is experienced when you are throwing knees and elbows in this short range. But even experienced guys get overzealous on occasion. I was partnered with one such overzealous guy last week and I am beat to hell. Oh well, at least I blocked everything.
I have been noticing a decline in attendance in the advanced class. The beginners class seems always packed, but the advanced class is falling off a bit. I am one of the few that hardly ever misses a class - ever, but then again, I am a zealot. Everyone always has excuses - too cold, too hot, weather just right so I don't want to be in the gym, on and on the excuses go.
Any time you make a lifestyle change or commit yourself to do something there will always be reasons to not be able to do it. You have to push all of that aside and, like Nike says, "just do it". Frankly, I am looking forward to more of the beginners moving into the advanced class. Maybe it is time for some new blood in our class. Time will tell. Maybe it is just a phase at the gym, I dunno. The training we receive from the instructor is top notch - I have heard this over and over from new people who have come to our gym from other places.
Oh well, I am happy, and I am furthering myself in my chosen martial art. I guess I can't ask for much more than that. It has been almost two years since I picked up Muay Thai. I wonder what I can do to celebrate that. I will probably just go to the gym and train. I think that those who came before me in my art would want it that way.